Author: Rose Tremain, 2010.
Genre: Contemporary. Literary. GLBT themes.
Other Details: Hardback. 255 pages.
'Trespass' is about place, space, territory... and the iron grip of the past.
Another beautifully written novel from Rose Tremain. I found myself reading some passages aloud just to savour the beauty of her words. Most of the novel takes place in the Cévenol region of southern France and as I found with 'The Colour', Tremain has a superb ability to evoke a sense of place. While there is a mystery at the heart of the novel, the main focus is upon the complex relationships between two sets of siblings, all in their sixties.
Aramon is a decrepit alcoholic who has allowed his family home, the Mas Lunel, and its lands to fall into ruin. His sister, Audrun, lives alone in a shabby modern bungalow within sight of the Mas Lunel and dreams of extracting retribution for the betrayals that have blighted her life. Aramon wants to sell the property to wealthy foreigners though a dispute with his sister over property boundaries and the growing worldwide recession threatens these plans.
Flamboyant Anthony Verey is a famous London antiques dealer whose business is being hit hard by the recession. His sister, Veronica, and her lover, Kitty, have already emigrated to the Cévenol and Anthony decides that he will remake his life in France close to his beloved sister. Anthony's arrival to view potential properties in the region brings disruption to the idyll the women have found. When he visits the Mas Lunel, he sets in motion a frightening series of events.
The novel's title, Trespass is very apt in terms of the novel's themes covering both the physical act of trespass and the more subtle kind evoked by the final lines of The Lord's Prayer. It is a powerful, character driven novel that explores some quite dark themes.